President Barack Obama's approval ratings have dipped below 50 percent for the first time in one prominent poll amid a raft of bad news about the economy and continuing job losses.Read the full story by Josh Gerstein at POLITICO.com
The nation's economic woes pushed Obama down to a 49 percent approval rating in the respected Gallup daily tracking poll out Friday. Gallup said Obama's approval rating had been holding in the low 50s since September but hasn't dropped below 50 percent until now.
Obama started out his presidency with 68 percent approval rating in Gallup and saw most of the decline in July and August. One veteran pollster, Syracuse University's Jeffrey Stonecash, said the steep decline is the result of unreasonably inflated expectations about what Obama could accomplish in Washington.
"I'm not surprised by the demise here because the expectations I think were really unrealistic," Stonecash said. "He has huge problems trying to get this morass of the Democratic Party to move and to work to accomplish what he wants. The longer [health care] drags out the more his ratings are going to go down."